Among the worst of problems when you start out in Night Vision Equipment is becoming accustomed to the oddity of wearing a helmet with what is essentially a heavy unicorn horn hanging off the front. It is in no way natural to have something heavy on your head to start with, and pulling one direction makes it worse. It takes time for the muscles in your neck to adapt, and it can be a painful experience.
But if you are going to run goggles, you have to get through it. Just like wearing armor or a ruck, time will help. But there is another option now on the table, from our friends over at Primary Arms. The new Mohawk Counterweight system. This is a great leap forward, and just about the best $79.00 you can spend on helmet upgrades.
The concept isn’t totally new. Soldiers started velcroing dive weights to the back of helmets decades ago. Having a balanced weight in the back to offset the front goggle weight does help, experience shows that to be true. Just like the way carrying a fuel can in each hand, even if it increases your total load, can be easier than carrying just one. A balanced load on your head is easier on the neck, and long term less likely to lead to real problems.
The Mohawk is a pretty simple concept. It is a Velcro sleeve that mounts to the back on your helmet and runs up the rear toward the top. It offers a variety of options for balancing against a set of NODS. Inside is the option for either extra batteries (a great method of also carrying extra supplies), or included flexible lead weight strips.
This is a great set of options. The lead weights are .25 pounds each, which lets you really dial in the balance. Or, if you just want to run batteries, it is a very handy resupply that also reduces strain. The strip running up the helmet has Velcro on the outside too, for strobe attachment if that is your jam. It also has shock cord loops for tourniquet storage if you don’t.
The Mohawk also has attachment points to help with cable management, if you are running comms or a larger battery box. The Gen 1 Mohawk is very much made to offset PVS-14 style goggles, but the battery tray is also removable and will support the battery box of a GPNVG-18. Gen 2 and 3 Mohawks are also available specific to other goggle styles, with features appropriate for those.
Available in multiple color schemes, this one is a must have if you are going bump in the night. Extremely well-built, this is an add on that won’t let you down. I have been very, very happy with mine, and recommend it highly. Neck pain can put you down hard, as well as lead to long-term trouble. Balancing the load is an excellent preventive, and something that should be on your radar.
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